Since childhood, I've been drawn to the natural world and was fascinated by every bug, spider, snake, or furry critter I could find. I read many non-fiction books about animals.
As an adult, I taught science in the classroom and tried to instill in my students the same excitement for the discovery and love of nature that I felt.
My wife and I enjoy traveling, and we often go to the Adirondack Mountains of New York State where we can hike, kayak, canoe, and fish in wilderness areas.
My interests in science and nature carry into my writing. Most of my books are about wild animals, sometimes-endangered species, and their fascinating and unique abilities to survive in harsh and unforgiving environments. They are tales of adventure and survival, and I try to capture the majesty of each animal and its environment in my words.
I often travel to the environments I write about, to see the animals in their natural habitat. Its important for me to experience, first-hand, my settings, to write from the heart and provide rich sensory details that allow readers to feel as if they themselves are there. My books create a strong sense of place.
My research trips have taken me north on dogsled trips in sub-zero temperatures; to alligator nests deep in the Okefenokee Swamp of southern Georgia; to the rain forests of Puerto Rico; across Canada; to the Rocky Mountains; and to the Cheyenne River Canyon...to name a few. I have wonderful stories to tell students about some comical incidents that have occurred in completing my research on my wild animal subjects.
Occasionally, I write a real flight-of-fancy piece like The Monsters Test. This book was as much fun to write as it is to read.
I always enjoy receiving letters and comments from my readers. I want my books to be enjoyable, exciting, and memorable.
And I also want to impart some knowledge. I do not try to write with a gimmick in mind, or for a trend. I write about what moves me deeply or excites my imagination. I work for carefully selected words, rich use of language, and passion in my writing. The revision process is sometimes
painstakingly slow, but vital to a final piece that sparkles on the page and echoes in the minds
ear long after it has been read.
Illustration by: Bob Marstall